Earlier this week, a young great white shark was spotted on a beach in Cape Cod. Literally. On the beach.

Witnesses say he was trying to catch some seagulls loafing around in the surf when suddenly he found himself stuck upside down on the sand.

A normal human reaction to this might be to casually move your umbrella a bit farther down the beach and, of course, never, ever go swimming at that beach again.


But the swimmers in Cape Cod that day decided to do more.

Bystanders decided to try to keep the shark alive until help arrived.

With sandcastle buckets and whatever else they could find, they tossed water on the helpless shark to keep him wet.

Once experts got there, they kept hydrating the shark until they could tow it back to the water. GIFs from Mike Bartel/YouTube.

If you're like me the first time I watched this rescue, you might be wondering why someone didn't just pick the shark up and toss him back in the water. You know, besides the high likelihood of losing a hand in the process.

Well, they say the stranded shark was over 6 feet long, which, based on the known size of the average adult great white, means this little guy probably weighed somewhere between 500 and 1,000 pounds.

So, buckets of water it was.

It took over an hour for harbormaster Stuart Smith and local shark expert Gregory Skomal to arrive on the scene.

From there, they were able to tie a pulley to the shark and drag him back into the water via motorboat, where they then tagged him for tracking.

Wheeeeeeeeee!

The shark had a little trouble rolling back onto his belly and swimming away, but with a bit of assistance and a VIP boat ride back out to deeper water, rescuers eventually sent him on his way.

Back to open waters, my friend.

The shark survived, thanks to quick-thinking bystanders who didn't let their fear of sharks get in the way of doing the right thing.

It's a little jarring to see such a powerful creature like this great white lying on his back, entirely helpless. But it's worth remembering: Even though the thought of sharks like this swimming on a beach alongside hundreds or thousands of swimmers is terrifying, shark attacks really aren't all that common.

In fact, between 1876 and 2013, there were fewer than 300 total confirmed shark attacks in the entire world, with less than half of those being fatal.

After all, this shark was only after seagulls. Not swimmers.

And now he gets a second chance at snagging a tasty, feathered meal. And many more to come.


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